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Don't Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training Paperback – August 3, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0553380392 ISBN-10: 0553380397 Edition: Revised

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Don't Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training + Culture Clash + The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Revised edition (August 3, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553380397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553380392
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This delightful, clear, and utterly helpful book is for anyone who wants to understand or change the behavior of an animal—whether the animal in question is a barking dog, a nosy neighbor, a hostile cat, or you and your own bad habits."—Carol Tavris, Ph.D., author of Anger

From the Inside Flap

A Better Way to Better Behavior

Karen Pryor's clear and entertaining explanation of behavioral training methods made Don't Shoot the Dog! a bestselling classic. Now this revised edition presents more of her insights into animal--and human--behavior.

A groundbreaking behavioral scientist and dynamic animal trainer, Karen Pryor is a powerful proponent of the principles and practical uses of positive reinforcement in teaching new behaviors. Here are the secrets of changing behavior in pets, kids--even yourself--without yelling, threats, force, punishment, guilt trips...or shooting the dog:

The principles of the revolutionary "clicker training" method, which owes its phenomenal success to its immediacy of response--so there is no question what action you are rewarding
8 methods of ending undesirable habits--from furniture-clawing cats to sloppy roommates
The 10 laws of "shaping" behavior--for results without strain or pain through "affection training"
Tips for house-training the dog, improving your tennis game, or dealing with an impossible teen
Explorations of exciting new uses for reinforcement training

Learn why pet owners rave, "This book changed our lives!" and how these pioneering techniques can work for you too.

More About the Author

Karen Pryor is a behavioral biologist with an international reputation in two fields, marine mammal biology and behavioral phsychology. She is a founder and leading proponent of "clicker training," a training system based on operant conditioning (isolate wanted behaviors and ignore the unwanted) and the all-positive methods developed by marine mammal trainers. Clicker training is now in use world wide with dogs, cats, horses, birds, zoo animals, and increasingly with humans, in the teaching of sports and athletic performances and developing behaviors in autistics.

Customer Reviews

Every pet owner should read this book.
Fred Innamorato
This little book explains reinforcement using examples that make it really clear how eight different methods of behavior modification work.
Donald Fleck
If you want to train any animal you MUST read this book!
AnnaT

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

159 of 167 people found the following review helpful By kathleen@metronet.com on August 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
All of the reader reviews currently on the page deal with the first edition. I just received the new edition.
First, for those who are looking for a cook book to solve specific problems, this may not be it -- as a response to people who felt mislead by the title.
This ISN'T a dog training book, what it is, is a manual and a philosophy for solving the problems in your life caused by other's behavior, whether it is your husband, your children, your pets, or your co-workers.
The new edition brings in our new research and our ideas. Anecodotes are more relative and talk about people we all know and have met through the click-l list and other internet interactions.
This is definately the definitive book on behavior modification, and it is infinitely readable.
<CLICK> Good job Karen!
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91 of 94 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
I recently bought this book on the advice of a doggy foster "parent", as a prelude to adopting from a local rescue organization. While this is not a how-to or step by step guide for training your dog, it is an excellent and clear book about behavior and how to shape it in a positive way. I was surprised at how much information I found useful for understanding my own relationship with my parents and how to be a better manager. The anecdotes help clarify the concepts, as well as making for very entertaining reading, and I especially appreciated the series of charts comparing different training methods and showing what can work best for a slew of different behavior problems. My next purchase will be a clicker training instruction manual, and I think it will be all the more valuable because Pryor's book has helped me understand WHY positive reinforcement works. Her book really explains the philosophy behind the methodology. Kudos.
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198 of 213 people found the following review helpful By cammykitty on January 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
I've read quite a few dog behavior, training and intelligence books and always had this on the to read list because of its reputation of being the "bible" of dog training. But I didn't really want to read it because of the title, and hey, the cover isn't too imaginitive either. I know don't judge a book by a cover, but to be honest, reading has a sensual side too -- good clean lines, fits nice in the hands, smooth paper. You bookaholics know what I'm saying.
So, I finally got around to reading this and I can see why people say this book is life-changing. Pryor spent very little time talking about dogs specifically but showed many examples on how these methods could be used with people with disabilities, your own kids, spouse, cat etc.
I'm a trainer's assistant at a dog obedience school, and as I read this, it all looked familiar. It is basically the foundation philosophy of our school. It's a method of communication. A way to build a relationship and communicate what you want from your dog in a positive, punishment-free manner. Reading this book helped me clarify why we at the school do things as we do. And as I finished the book, I was thinking of one of the comments a woman made at a trainer's funeral. The gist was that she had learned from his gentle approach to the dogs, and this had spread to the way she approached people as well.
It's true. "Clicker training" as some people call this training philosophy will spill outside of your doggy life and into other areas... if you come to this as a dog trainer. As a dog trainer, your dog doesn't sit when you say sit. Instead of getting mad and saying sit sit sit! jerking on the collar or pushing on the butt, first you think "does my dog understand 'sit?
Read more ›
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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Harold R. Hansen on November 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
"Don't Shoot the Dog" is the best comprehensive guide I know of that encourages the use of Positive Reinforcement. There is no question that PR goes a long way and should always be used as a first option (with both animals and people). Karen Pryor's honesty in this book is to be applauded. While she champions using PR as far as it works to produce the desired result, she realistically acknowledges that PR does not always work. As a dog trainer and author using a balanced approach, I find her candor and her desire to make the world a better place for dogs and people quite noble. If all we needed in our relationships with dogs and people was to find the right reward, this would be the only book we would need.
The structure of the book is easy to follow, and along with emphasizing PR, also gives excellent advice about the crucial element of timing in training. I also find this book useful as a tool to help people decide NOT to use muzzle restraining devices. If a dog training student of mine is thinking of using a muzzle restraining device on a dog, I have the student read Karen's comments about restraint as the bottom of page 101. Her clearly stated explanation hits the nail right on the head. Restraining has its place, but it isn't training.
Karen's comments about rewarding the wrong behavior also makes a lot of sense. Our leaders in government would benefit from her political applications of her principles.
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Barry on January 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
Believe me when I tell you that those that criticized this book never read it and integrated its principles. Instead, these are people that might have vast experience with different systems that give them good results. The techniques they use have become second nature to them. They conclude: my system is different, my system works, therefore every thing else is crap. One reviewer rambled about how it mainly applies to dolphins because they are confined to a tank. The kindest thing I can say about him is that he never read DON'T SHOOT THE DOG. If he did, I would have to insult his reading comprehension. Little of what he rants about is even in the book. Instead of ranting about hearsay on the somewhat different topic of clicker training, allow me to tell you about "Don't Shoot the Dog". This book teaches far reaching techniques with universal application. I have trained dogs, horses, and wild caught birds of prey (which were flown free daily not confined to pools or tanks). Though I understand alpha dog training, use negative reinforcement, and have employed many successful techniques, this is one of my all time top 10 books on any subject and it is a MUST READ even for those that will never own a pet. Karen Pryor was in fact a trainer at Sea World but contrary to the title this book is not about the specifics of animal training. It is instead a handbook on behavioral modification complete with an introduction written by B.F. Skinner, the father of behavioral psychology. While he was not a man without faults, he was a huge contributor to some profoundly simplified techniques for modifying behavior. While an easy read (one long afternoon) the power of this book lies in studying the principles and then training yourself to modify behavior.Read more ›
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